Why Lose Your Soon-to-Retire Talent? It’s Time to Freelance Them.

3 min read
Sam Nedimyer
Sam Nedimyer, Manager, Digital Content
July 22, 2019
Why Lose Your Soon-to-Retire Talent? It’s Time to Freelance Them.
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10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. It’s a rate that’s been consistent since 2011 and will continue well into the 2030s. It’s time for businesses to take note.

Boomers still make up a sizable, and more reliable and experienced, chunk of the workforce. They number in the tens of millions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There’s no debating that this knowledge-rich cohort should be leveraged as an asset. But how can businesses tap into this growing network before it’s too late?

The Foreboding Brain Drain

Boomer retirements are creating a tidal wave of turnover for firms. When these boomers walk out the door, their in-depth corporate knowledge goes right out with them. This “corporate brain drain” is becoming the problem of the 21st century for companies everywhere.

To make matters worse, employers aren’t implementing policies to attract or retain older workers. At Fortune 1000 companies, 62% of the employers believe that upcoming retirements will result in skilled labor shortages over the next five years. However, only 19% of employers have taken action.

Boomers Gigging It

Boomers may be retiring from traditional work in droves, but many are expected to continue working long after retirement. And surprisingly enough, they are turning to freelancing in the gig economy. PwC recently estimated that a quarter of U.S. gig workers are over 55.

A Value-Added Workforce

With this new reality of boomer work, recruiting alumni or soon-to-be-retirees as consultants, part-time employees or contractors can be the upside to changing workforce dynamics.

Consider the following statistics:

  1. It costs half as much to rehire an ex-employee as it does to hire a new person.
  2. Re-hires are 40% more productive in their first quarter at work and they tend to stay in the job longer.
  3. The average Fortune 500 business could save around US $12 million a year by actively recruiting alumni.

WM RehireAlumni 1200x675 72-07

Mining for Knowledge Gold

On-demand labor clouds and the Freelance Management Systems (like WorkMarket) that enable them can help firms prepare for the brain drain and develop a bench of talent to tap into when the need arises.

With a labor cloud model, all of the talent you need is managed — from contracts and compliance to invoicing and payment — through a single platform, through which you can build, automate and scale your own network of skilled alumni workers.

Leaving the Door Open for Alumni

A broad mix of companies and organizations, from professional services firms to technology leaders are taking advantage of alumni networks and funneling significant resources towards staying connected with their former personnel to establish continuity, improve productivity, and mitigate the risk of institutional knowledge loss.

Deloitte calls them “colleagues for life.” But whether you call them alumni, boomerang employees, or anything else, your former employees need not be “out of sight, out of mind.” Instead, you can open the door for them with the right continuing work opportunities, and solve for knowledge by stopping the corporate brain drain.

Ready to tap into your soon-to-retire talent? Learn how to easily contract or freelance that workforce with the free guide: Freelance Management Systems 101.